“The start of the Eastern Economic Forum gave Russia a platform to display the potential of the region and encourage opportunities for foreign investment in business, technology, infrastructure, and energy,” Duncan Brown wrote.
According to Brown, the most important area was the energy sector; in particular the natural gas pipelines the Power of Siberia.
“Starting in the northern Sakha Republic, the pipeline will be unified with Irkutsk on the shores of Lake Baikal and channeled to the southeast, via Khabarovsk, Blagoveschensk, and Vladivostok, spanning approximately 4,000 kilometers.”
Under the new agreement signed with China in September 2015 the volume of gas supplied from the Far East will increase from 25 to 38 billion cubic meters per year. The columnist noted that there is also the planned development of gas projects in the Arctic and nuclear cooperation with China.
The growth of oil exports allows Russia to overtake Saudi Arabia as China's number one supplier.
“The ‘strategic energy alliance’ praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin does not only extend to China. In late October, a new 10-year liquefied natural gas agreement was signed with Singapore’s state-owned Pavilion Gas, while a month earlier the Russian state nuclear group Rosatom reported a deal for the construction of high-power, floating nuclear power plants in Indonesia,” Brown wrote for The Diplomat.
In addition to the energy sector, Russia has been expanding trade through a series of special economic zones, currency agreements and diplomatic ties.
In particular, a free trade agreement with Vietnam, signed in May 2015 covers 90% of mutual trade goods. The trade bill allows exporters not only to use dollars in payment, but national currencies as well, and that is an extremely important factor, noted the columnist.
“Russian officials met with their Indonesian counterparts at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in April 2015 to establish a rupiah-ruble alliance, while Russia’s Sberbank and China’s Harbin bank agreed in September to expand their trade settlements directly in yuan and rubles. The October upgrading of the yuan to IMF reserve currency status will also have a positive impact Russia’s foreign exchange reserves,” Brown wrote.